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What is the worlds weakest army?

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address (1961)

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Citation: Farewell address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961; Final TV Talk 1/17/61 (1), Box 38, Speech Series, Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President, 1953-61, Eisenhower Library; National Archives and Records Administration

On January 17, 1961, in this farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the establishment of a «military-industrial complex.»

In a speech of less than 10 minutes, on January 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his political farewell to the American people on national television from the Oval Office of the White House. Those who expected the military leader and hero of World War II to depart his Presidency with a nostalgic, «old soldier» speech like Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s, were surprised at his strong warnings about the dangers of the «military-industrial complex.»

As President of the United States for two terms, Eisenhower had slowed the push for increased defense spending despite pressure to build more military equipment during the Cold War’s arms race. Nonetheless, the American military services and the defense industry had expanded a great deal in the 1950s. Eisenhower thought this growth was needed to counter the Soviet Union, but it confounded him. Though he did not say so explicitly, his standing as a military leader helped give him the credibility to stand up to the pressures of this new, powerful interest group. He eventually described it as a necessary evil.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be might, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. . . . American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. . . . This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . .Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

The end of Eisenhower’s term as President not only marked the end of the 1950s, but also the end of an era in government. A new, younger generation was rising to national power that would set a more youthful, vigorous course. His farewell address was a warning to his successors of one of the many things they would have to be wary of in the coming years.

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My fellow Americans:

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation.

My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and, finally, to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the national good rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the Nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling, on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology-global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle-with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research-these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage-balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between action of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peace time, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been over shadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system-ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we-you and I, and our government-must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose difference, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war-as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years-I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So-in this my last good night to you as your President-I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find somethings worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I-my fellow citizens-need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation’s great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing inspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

This page was last reviewed on December 15, 2022.
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Countries Without a Military 2023

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A military is a highly organized, heavily armed fighting force authorized, funded, and maintained by the government of a sovereign state. A military is intended primarily for warfare, but can also perform humanitarian work such as supplying food, water, and medical care to those in need. In most modern countries, the military is used strictly for defense (and said humanitarian work). However, as conflicts such as World War I, World War II, and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrate, a country’s military can also take on an offensive role. Large militaries are often seen as a sign of power and can provide a sense of security for a country’s citizens and allies. The United States spends more on its military than any other country in the world.

Despite the importance most countries place upon their militaries—some even enforce mandatory military service—many other countries have no standing military or armed forces. AS a rule, countries without militaries fall into one of three categories:

  1. Countries that have been demilitarized
  2. Countries whose founders did not establish a military
  3. Countries that are former colonies/dependencies of nations that do have militaries and are still under the protection of those countries. For example, Monaco is a former French colony that still relies upon France for its defense.

List of Countries and Territories with No Military

According to the CIA World Factbook, 39 countries and territories do not have a military. Per the CIA’s definition, several of these states do not have a «regular military force,» but their national police forces act as de facto military forces. For example, Costa Rica’s military was abolished in 1948, but its «Public Force» (police) includes paramilitary units trained by the United States and Colombia and takes on the responsibility of protecting the country’s borders.

  1. Andorra
  2. Aruba (Netherlands territory)
  3. British Indian Ocean Territory (U.K. Territory)
  4. Cayman Islands (U.K. territory)
  5. Cook Islands (New Zealand territory)
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Curaçao (Netherlands territory)
  8. Dominica
  9. Falkland Islands (U.K. territory)
  10. Faroe Islands (Denmark territory)
  11. French Polynesia (France territory)
  12. Greenland (Denmark territory)
  13. Grenada
  14. Hong Kong (China SAR)
  15. Iceland
  16. Kiribati
  17. Liechtenstein
  18. Macau (China SAR)
  19. Marshall Islands
  20. Mauritius
  21. Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia)
  22. Monaco
  23. Montserrat (U.K. territory)
  24. Nauru
  25. New Caledonia (France territory)
  26. Niue (New Zealand territory)
  27. Palau
  28. Panama
  29. Puerto Rico (U.S. territory)
  30. Saint Lucia
  31. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  32. Samoa
  33. San Marino
  34. Sint Maarten (Netherlands territory)
  35. Solomon Islands
  36. Svalbard (Norway territory)
  37. Tuvalu
  38. Vanuatu
  39. Vatican City

countries with the smallest armies


These Are 11 Leading Countries With The Smallest Armies

These Are 11 Leading Countries With The Smallest Armies

While some countries invest in the military, there are some that have no means to support theirs, which leads to them having a small number of people in the military because that is the easiest way to manage them. Others have a small group because they have no reason to invest in a large group. In many instances, a country’s strength is always measured by the number of people in the armed forces, as it shows that the team is in a position if fighting battles against the enemies of the state. Well, if you have been looking for a list of countries that have a small number of people in the armed forces, here are a bunch of them.

1. Palestine

It is a country that has had political unrest for a couple of years, and it is known only to have about 500 people who are active in the military department, and 56,000 in the paramilitaries.

2. Haiti

Despite the fantastic beaches and it is one of the most beautiful countries in spite of all odds, the country has about 400 serving in the military and 2000 in the paramilitary department.

3. Vatican City

Being one of the smallest countries in the world automatically qualifies it to have the world’s smallest army that comprises of 110 men. The arm is famously known as the Swiss Guard that has been in existence for the longest, and are best known for their courage to fight the tough battles.

4. Madagascar

The country has set aside about $56 million and only has around 21, 600 people in the military, and it is a country that has about 20 aircraft and eight watercraft.

5. Monaco

It is one of the smallest countries, considering that it comes just before Vatican City. Its population is said to be of about 38,000, and 263 of them happen to be in the military world.

6. Vanuatu

It is a tiny island that was founded in the 1980s and is known to have about 300 people in the military world. The country has had plans to increase its military force and is still working on ways of improving the number of people who will be serving in the military.

7. Mauritius

it is known as one of the world’s incredible tourist attraction, the country only has around 2000 people in the military force, thus bringing it to the top of the countries with few people in the armed forces.

8. Costa Rica

It is one of the countries whose members are not trained to handle combat missions, and are instead used to maintain peace within the country. It has about 9800 people within the paramilitary forces, and the country keeps its military team small, enough to serve the country.

9. Iceland

Despite being a NATO member, the country has no army. The country is known to be full of friendly individuals, and one will only find about 130 people who are active in the paramilitary.

10. Antigua And Barbuda

The place is known mainly because of the beautiful beaches and welcoming weather but, when it comes to the military force, only 245 people are active in the armed forces.

11. Andorra

It is a small country located between Spain and France, and only has 100 paramilitary individuals who have not received any training in the armed forces. The country covers about 468 square kilometers, it is known to be a peaceful and friendly country, and perhaps that is why the government has not invested much in the military.

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